Inspirational swimmers conquer personal setbacks
WHEN promising swimmers Jordan Harton and Trae Norbury contest the Queensland championships over the next week, they'll begin a journey into the unknown.
However, it's all positive for the inspiring CYMS St Edmund's Swim Club duo.
Jordan and Trae have been chosen on Australia's Paralympics development squad as the first step towards qualifying for the 2020 games in Tokyo.
They have a week-long camp at the National Training Centre in Canberra in the new year, having already qualified for the Australian championships in April.
But first it's the state titles starting at Chandler today.
Jordan, 16, is also a competent basketball referee. But at a busy stage of her schooling, she is concentrating on her swimming.
She has restriction in movement and balance in her right hip.
She started swimming to help her rehabilitation.
"Ever since then, I really love swimming and all that,'' she said.
"I still love basketball but because of my hip and all that, it was getting too hard and the physical pain was too much.''
Over the next week, the St Mary's College year 11 student will compete in age group and multi-class events at the state titles. That includes the 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle and 100m butterfly in her 16 years age group.
It will be her second state championships in able-bodied competition and her first in multi-class events.
Trae, 15, has just finished year 10 at St Edmund's College.
He has competed in able bodied and multi-class events for some time.
He has an internal prosthetic in his leg.
"So I don't have any veins from my side down,'' he said.
"I've had this problem since I was born.
"It's hard to swim but I don't really use my lower body for speed. It's all upper body strength.''
Both swimmers appreciate being invited into the national development squad.
"I'm just going to give it my best shot, give it 100 percent to see where it takes me,'' Jordan said, possessing a wonderful attitude.
"I know I have my family and my friends, they are all supporting me.''
Trae also welcomed the opportunity to see how the development camp can bolster his swimming.
"It's been a huge achievement for me . . . to be invited and just be asked to swim with people that have had that experience,'' he said.
Trae has been with CYs for more than three years.
His favourite events are freestyle and backstroke.
CYMS St Edmund's head coach Stephen Critoph said both swimmers were progressing well in their range of events.
"I've been improving a lot and getting really confident with it,'' Trae said.
Despite juggling multiple commitments, the affable Jordan is excited about the week ahead.